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Distraction Techniques for Seniors with Dementia

Seniors with dementia often act out in negative ways. While this is normal for the condition, it can be disturbing for family caregivers. Caregivers can use distraction to help seniors stop the negative behavior and replace it with a positive one. Sacramento, CA, elderly care experts suggest the following ways to distract a senior loved one with dementia.

Try a New Activity

Boredom can cause seniors with dementia to act out. When your loved one displays a negative behavior, try a new activity. You can start doing a craft, cleaning, or preparing a meal to distract your loved one.

Do a Craft

Knitting, crocheting, woodworking, and papercrafting are all crafts seniors may enjoy. If your loved one takes up a crafting activity regularly, soon he or she may enjoy it enough to forget about behaving negatively. Many Sacramento caregivers find it helpful to keep basic supplies on hand to start a project at short notice.

Interact with Music

Seniors usually love music, so get your loved one to sing his or her favorite songs. Impromptu dance parties can be great fun. If you need your loved one to do something, consider telling it to him or her through a silly song.

Request Help

Everyone likes to feel needed, and you might consider asking your loved one to help with a project. While the task may be something you can do by yourself, getting your loved one to help you can be a great distraction. 

Use Humor

Humor can keep everyone in a happy mood. Tell a funny joke aimed at your loved one’s intellectual level. Share a humorous short YouTube or Facebook clip. 

Because every method is not likely to work every time, make a list of what works so you can refer to it if your loved one starts a negative behavior. Distractions can help refocus his or her attention.

If your loved one is living with dementia and you would like to learn more about how to distract him or her from negative behavior, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our trained caregivers provide specialized Alzheimer’s, post-stroke, and dementia care Sacramento families can count on. Call 916.706.0169 to speak with a knowledgeable Care Manager and schedule a no-obligation consultation.